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Norwegian position on Fifth Framework Programme

The Norwegian government has published a paper outlining its views on the shape of the Fifth RTD Framework Programme. Norway participates in the Fourth Framework Programme through its membership of the European Economic Area, and has been associated with the specific programme...
The Norwegian government has published a paper outlining its views on the shape of the Fifth RTD Framework Programme. Norway participates in the Fourth Framework Programme through its membership of the European Economic Area, and has been associated with the specific programmes since 1997.

The Norwegian paper calls for research aimed at improving the competitiveness of European industry and promoting innovation. In addition, it calls for research to respond to environmental issues, quality of life, and social and cultural problems.

The Fifth Framework Programme is likely to be of a comparable scale to the Fourth, according to the paper, and there should not be any increase in budget. The focus on the current scientific and technological programmes should be, broadly, retained, as there is a need for continuity. The paper then calls for stronger concentration of activities within these programmes, so as to make best use of resources. In particular, there should be more emphasis on coordinating activities with other national or European research mechanisms.

Increased flexibility and coordination between the specific programmes is needed, according to the Norwegian paper. The growing requirement for inter-disciplinary research means that individual projects often cross programme boundaries. The task force approach is a valuable contribution to increased flexibility and coordination, but there needs to be discussion on the budgetary and organizational implications of taking this approach. In order to ensure sufficient transparency, there needs to be a better system for dissemination of information between, and about, the programmes, and high priority should continue to be given to the dissemination of the results of research.

In terms of research strategies, the Norwegian government calls for continued emphasis on generic research, which will be of key importance to European innovation, and of long-term benefit. This generic research must be complemented with scope for research to meet the needs of industry and society. In addition, the Fifth Framework Programme should aim to increase participation by SMEs.

The paper then details the Norwegian priorities for research under the Fifth Framework Programme:

- The potential of European marine environment and its resources;
- Maritime logistics and technology;
- Energy sources and energy technology;
- Environmental research;
- Cultural and social research;
- Consolidation of investment in training and mobility;
- Continued cooperation with third countries and international organizations.

The Norwegian paper concludes by outlining a number of recommendations for research in the areas of the existing specific programmes.

Source: EU ForskningsInfo - The Norwegian EU R&D Information Centre
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